Organisational factors: Their definition and influence on nuclear safety: Final report: Contract No. ERB FI4S-CT98_0051

Genevieve Baumont, Björn Wahlström, Rosario Sola, Jeremy Williams, Albert Frischknecht, Bernhard Wilpert, Carl Rollenhagen

Research output: Book/ReportReport

2 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of organisational factors in the operational safety and efficiency of nuclear power plants (NPP) has been recognised by many organisations around the world. Despite this recognition, however, there are as yet very few methods by which organisational factors can be systematically assessed and improved. The majority of research efforts applied so far have tended to be modest and scattered. The ORFA*) project was created as a remedy to these problems. The objective of the project is to create a better understanding of how organisation and management factors influence nuclear safety. A key scientific objective of the project is to identify components of a theoretical framework, which would help in understanding the relationships between organisational factors and nuclear safety. Three work packages were planned. First, a review of literature listed out the identified factors and methods for assessing them. Then, a draft version of the present report was prepared to clarify the environment context and the main issues of the topics. This draft was discussed at the ORFA seminar in Madrid 21-22 October 1999. During the seminar views and comments were collected on preliminary results of the project. Finally, this information has been integrated in the present and other reports and will be used to give further guidance to the European Commission in the development of forthcoming research programmes in the field. The project has addressed nuclear safety taking a broad perspective, which reflected and took into account the views of senior NPP management and regulators. The questions discussed during the project have been: - how can organisational factors be included in safety assessments, - how can good and bad operational practices be identified, - which methods can be used for detecting weak signals of deteriorating performance, - how should incidents be analysed with respect to organisational factors to give the largest learning benefit, - how can data on organisational performance be collected and assessed in a systematic way, - how can an organisation be developed in response to changes in its operational environment, - what are the needs and priorities for further research work in organisational factors? *)ORFA "Organisational Factors; their definition and influence on nuclear safety" is a Concerted Action within the Nuclear Fission Safety Programme which is running under the Contract N° ERB FI4S-CT98_0051 of the European Union between the seven partners VTT Automation, Finland, CIEMAT, Spain, Nuclear Safety Directorate, United Kingdom, HSK, Switzerland, IPSN France, Berlin University of Technology, Germany and SwedPower Ltd, Sweden.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Number of pages67
ISBN (Electronic)951-38-5771-9
ISBN (Print)951-38-5770-0
Publication statusPublished - 2000
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesVTT Tiedotteita - Meddelanden - Research Notes


  • nuclear power plants
  • electrical safety
  • safety assessments
  • safety management
  • organisational performance
  • organisational development
  • organisational assessment


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